Stardate: 2020-03-11

Bellefontaine 2019-04-03 -14

Middle March is the perfect time to go on a daffodil hunt and there is no better place to do it than Bellefontaine Cemetery in North Saint Louis. Daffodils are the trumpets of spring, and nothing shouts spring like thousands of bright yellow daffodils bursting wildly from the ground.

Surprisingly, this is a great trip for teenagers, particularly brand new drivers. Teens are intrigued by cemeteries and the narrow sleepy roads are perfect for building spatial intelligence and for taking the wheel that very first time.

Be sure to stop first at the Main Office to pick up a map and a bottle of water, and perhaps use the facilities. Use your official map to target one or two destinations, but in general, simply have your teen follow the white line around the cemetery, which might take about an hour. The cemetery is surprisingly large.

2019 Bellefontaine map

The best daffodils are located near Cypress Lake and the Beer Baron sites. Daffodils are the trumpets of spring; they shout that spring is coming but spring is not necessarily here yet.

Missouri weather can be unpredictable in March, but this trip works in any kind of weather. If it’s a nice day, bring a picnic and get out of the car to explore on foot, or head towards William Clark’s plot to leave a penny on this famous adventurer’s gravestone.

Wm Clark Pennies 2019-04-03

Bellefontaine is full of significance and there is something for everyone. You will want to return many times to begin to explore this magnificent arboretum and nature preserve, perhaps during the Beer Baron Tours in the fall.

This is also a nice field trip for families seeking social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Interestingly, Bellefontaine Cemetery was originally created in response to a cholera epidemic that killed nearly 6% of the Saint Louis population before a clever doctor made a map and determined that a single water well was the source of the contamination.

Speaking of maps, here’s a Green Spiral adventure map designed for younger families. You can make your own adventure map, download this map from the Green Spiral Facebook page or buy it in the Urban Wild book of adventure maps available on Amazon.

Bellefontaine 2020-02-12 COLOR

Indeed, whether following the trumpet of angels, soldiers or daffodils, Bellefontaine Cemetery has an adventure for nearly everyone in early spring.

Bellefontaine Cemetery: 4947 W. Florissant; 63115

2019-Aug-09

STL Fed 2019-02-26 WEB

The famous economist Milton Friedman once said “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” — and yet the Economy Museum is free.

Of course it’s paid for by your tax dollars and run by the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis. The St. Louis Fed is famous for its presentation of data, so it comes as no surprise that the Economy Museum would be award-winning as well, but why this tour remains a hidden gem is still a bit of a mystery.

Plaza

Located on Broadway within walking distance of the Arch, this is a good field trip for older students who have jobs and are beginning to learn about money, debt and the economy.  You might want to open a checking account and credit card in conjunction with visiting the Economy Museum, as a thought.

It’s best to create a small group learning experience, so bring a few friends, or perhaps another family or two.  Park on the street near the museum, and make your way through the security check-point, after which you will be ushered into an introductory lobby with short video. Plan on spending about 30 minutes inside the museum, depending on the interest and engagement level of the young people. The visit is a short and sweet self-guided trip, with interactive exhibits.

Inside the Economy

Be sure to play the BUY-SELL game located in the middle of the room, which mimics action on the stock trading floor. It’s super fun and why you need to bring a few friends with you.

Get your picture taken with the giant Lincoln penny in the middle of the room. The photographer regrets the lack of teenager to show you the scale. The penny is quite large.

Penny

Towards the end of the exhibit, be sure to find the short video on the wall that illustrates how everything gets better over time, when viewed through the lens of data.

Except for WWI, which experienced a huge dip in all things, the data shows that all things get better with time; a comforting message for today’s world.

Data 2019-03-18 COLOR

After exiting the exhibit, you will enter a small gift store where you can pick up free shredded money.  As a special treat for hungry teenagers, Sugar-Fire BBQ is a three minute walk around the corner.  The Blues Museum is located adjacent to Sugar-Fire and is also an excellent destination, making for a perfect teenage trifecta stay-cation.

2017-01-21 Blues Museum

Check the schedule before you go, as the Economy Museum is open only during office hours and not on weekends.  The “dog days of summer”, when it’s too hot to do anything else, is the perfect time to go.

Here are your links to the Economy Museum, to Sugar-Fire and to the Blues Museum.

Here’s the link to FRED, possibly the most trusted economic data in the world.

And here’s the GPS to the Economy Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis:

One Federal Reserve Plaza; 63102 – (Locust & Broadway)